Pre-season training is meant to be tough but earlier this week the Sydney Swans returned to a training venue they haven’t been to in 10 years - and it appeared tougher than ever.
The players and coaches ventured south to the picturesque Kurnell sand dunes at the north end of Cronulla.
The players were divided into four groups based on their running ability - note the coaches opted for the slower pack of the group - and completed each circuit together before moving onto the next one.
Circuit one was a steep sand hill, daunting just to look at, and required the players to provide about a one minute effort to reach the top. As soon as they reached the top, they returned to the bottom and repeated this six times.
They had a short break before moving to another section of the dunes which required three short and sharp efforts over three smaller hills, before making them circle back down to repeat the circuit eight times. If it wasn't clear before, you could certainly hear and see the sheer exhaustion after this leg.
They then moved on to a running track that took around two and a half minutes to complete, it was on a flatter surface but it was still on soft sand. They ran this lap four times.
The final circuit was a zig-zag course that required five shorter but continuous efforts to complete and this path was repeated five times. It was a gruelling session, with a total of four circuits that took around two hours to complete. The sun was beaming down with only a slight breeze and no shade to be sought during the team's few rest breaks.
Elite Performance Coach Rob Spurrs awarded Ed Barlow best on ground for the session. Other strong performers came from a range of players including rookie Nathan Gordon, captain Brett Kirk, Ted Richards, Craig Bird and Nick Malceski.